Home » Author Sue Miller to Select Prize-Winning Story in ACM Writing Competition

Author Sue Miller to Select Prize-Winning Story in ACM Writing Competition

Author Sue Miller to Select Prize-Winning Story in ACM Writing Competition December 11, 2023

Above: Award-winning writer Sue Miller will serve as final judge in the 2024 Nick Adams Short Story Contest. (Image: Adrienne Mathiowetz).

Sue Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Monogamy, will select the winner in the 2024 ACM Nick Adams Short Story Contest.

The annual writing competition, now in its 52nd year, awards a prize of $1,000 for the winning story. Students at the 14 member institutions of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) may participate in the contest by submitting their short stories to their college’s English department. Two faculty from within the consortium will select up to six finalists; Miller will select the winning story in March.

Miller is the author of 11 novels, most recently Monogamy (2020). O, The Oprah Magazine heralded the novel as “a revelatory tale of the complexities – and the absurdities – of love, infidelity, and grief.” In a review of The Arsonist, Miller’s 2014 novel, The New York Times Book Review highlighted the author’s “signature intelligence about people caught between moral responsibility and a hunger for self-realization.”

Miller’s debut novel, The Good Mother (1986), was lauded by Library Journal as “a stunner: so emotionally true and cleanly written, its characters so wonderfully and fallibly human, its issues so painful.” In 2003, Miller published her memoir, The Story of My Father. “With the care, restraint, and consummate skill that define her well-crafted and bestselling fiction,” the San Francisco Chronicle praised, “Sue Miller has now written a beautiful, compelling memoir about her father and his downward spiral into the demonic grasp of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Raised in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, Miller earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Harvard University. She also holds master’s degrees from Harvard University, Boston University, and Wesleyan University. She has taught creative writing at institutions including Amherst College, Tufts University, Boston University, Smith College, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A champion of the writer’s engagement with society at large, Miller has served on the Board of PEN America, a nonprofit organization committed to protecting free expression globally. She has also served as Chair of PEN New England, which worked with writing programs in local high schools and ran classes in prisons. Miller resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“We are delighted and grateful that Sue Miller, a Chicago native, will serve as the final judge of ACM’s Nick Adams Short Story Contest this year,” said Sonya Malunda, President of the ACM. “It is an honor to offer ACM students the opportunity to have their creative writing reviewed by such a renowned storyteller, educator, and advocate for the power and potential of the written word.”

Miller’s other works include the novels The Lake Shore Limited (2010), The Senator’s Wife (2008), The World Below (2001), While I Was Gone (1999), The Distinguished Guest (1995), For Love (1993), and Family Pictures (1990). Miller has also published Inventing the Abbotts and Other Stories (1987) and contributed short stories to periodicals including The Atlantic, Mademoiselle, and Ploughshares. Her books have been widely translated and published in 22 countries. The Good Mother (1986) and Inventing the Abbotts (1987) were both made into feature films; Family Pictures (1990) and While I Was Gone (1999) became television mini-series.

Miller won the Henfield Prize, funded by the Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation, for her short story “Given Names” (1981). For The Senator’s Wife (2008), she was presented the Kate Chopin Award by the Kate Chopin Society of North America and the Kirkwood Public Library in Missouri. Miller is also a winner of the Carl Sandburg Prize from the Chicago Public Library. She received an honorable mention from the Pushcart Prize and, for Family Pictures (1990), a nomination for a National Book Critics Circle Award. Miller has also been awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council; residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, and the Edith Wharton Writer in Residence program at The Mount; and fellowships from Boston University, The Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

The Nick Adams Short Story Contest, named after the young protagonist of many stories by Ernest Hemingway, was established with funds from an anonymous donor to support creative writing at ACM colleges. Past final judges have included such acclaimed writers as Maya Angelou, Saul Bellow, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Sandra Cisneros, Stuart Dybek, Larry Heinemann, Bharati Mukherjee, Audrey Niffenegger, Joyce Carol Oates, Scott Turow, Anne Tyler, and John Updike.

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